“We Need to Get the Good Old USA on Board” The 2009 World Baseball Classic, Corporate Nationalism, and Constructions of “American” Identity Dain TePoel The World Baseball Classic (WBC) is a jointly owned operation of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA). It is enmeshed at the intersection of baseball with masculinity, ethnicity, identity, culture and the global corporate economy. Scholars have investigated the WBC for its utility as part of MLB’s global branding promotional strategy, and also analyzed the tournament for its cultural significance. This paper seeks to build off literature on the WBC through an exploration of the connections between MLB’s promo- tion and advertising of the 2009 WBC, the US sporting press’s coverage of the Classic, and constructions of US- American national identity. On March 23, 2009, Team Japan earned their second WBC championship in three years by defeating Team South Korea in a ten- inning contest held in Los Angeles, California. The following night then- host of National Broadcast- ing Company’s (NBC) The Tonight Show Jay Leno joked, “Congratulations to Japan for winning the World Baseball Classic right here in Dodger Stadium. Yeah, they beat Korea 5– 3, which is perfect: the
NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Dec 19, 2017
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